ARNPRIOR – Since March 2021 when Arnprior’s mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics began, more than 80 volunteers from the community have donated 9,000 volunteer hours to ensure the successful vaccine campaign rollout.
“The dedication and contributions of our volunteers have been exceptional and made it possible to execute successful vaccine clinics and adapt easily when we evolved and enhanced our operations,” Arnprior’s vaccine clinics and executive director, Arnprior and District Family Health Team co-lead Karen Simpson said. “Not only do we have incredibly effective and hard-working volunteers, but they endured extreme weather conditions and helped make the experience more enjoyable for everyone who came to our clinics.”
As of Aug. 5, the Arnprior Vaccine Team has operated 54 clinics locally, administering more than 18,500 vaccine doses and vaccinating 10,750 people. The highest number of individuals vaccinated in one day was 1,080 on June 30 at the drive-thru clinic at the Nick Smith Centre. The Arnprior area has 84.8 per cent of individuals (12 years and older) with a first dose and 76.6 per cent of individuals (12 years and older) who have received their second dose.
“Our volunteers have made the difference. Thanks to the incredible volunteers who made it their priority to provide our vaccine clinics with the support, energy and optimism, our clinics were a great success, and our community has lifesaving protection against COVID-19,” volunteer lead, Arnprior Vaccine Team and president, Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) Auxiliary Maggie Harbert said.
Lana Schnob, manager of Safety Culture at Nu-Tech Precision Metals Inc, didn’t hesitate when the work email was sent out asking if employees would like to volunteer at the Arnprior vaccine clinics. Schnob is a long-time, volunteer Girl Guide leader but during the pandemic she couldn’t give back to her community in this way.
“I felt like I needed to do something during COVID, and it was nice to see people in the community again after not seeing people for so long,” Schnob, who volunteered at the clinics during the workdays and is also a new ARH Auxiliary member, said. “Nu-Tech is heavily involved in the community through donations and hands-on support—it’s part of why I love working here.”
Bruce Haywood and his wife, Carrol, serve as members of the ARH Patient and Family Advisory Council and decided to help the Arnprior Vaccine Team after they had their own jab at one of the first COVID-19 drive-thru clinics.
“We decided to help out because we wanted our community to be safe and because we had the time to give,” Bruce, who volunteered as a vaccine clinic screener once or twice a week since March 2021, said. “We really liked the way the clinics were run and felt grateful that we could help out.”
Peggy Fadyk was living vicariously through her good friend who volunteered at the Arnprior vaccine clinics during the first few months of the rollout. When the clinics moved to twice a week, the team needed extra volunteer support, so Fadyk decided to help.
“I was sitting at home at a loss of how I could help – volunteering at the vaccine clinics has been a small thing to do to help us get back to normal,” Fadyk, who also joined the Auxiliary in June 2021 and volunteers at the Opportunity Shop, said. “All the volunteers are amazing, and it was nice to make people smile.”
To book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, go to www.rcdhu.com for more information.